Create THE BEST restaurant-style homemade salsa in just 10 minutes! In this recipe, fresh tomatoes, peppers and onions are blackened in the oven, then blended with fresh cilantro, lime juice and salt to create an authentic Mexican salsa that’s both incredibly flavorful and easy to make!

chunky tomato salsa in white bowl

There’s nothing better than pulling up a chair at your favorite Mexican restaurant and digging right into a big bowl of tortilla chips and fresh salsa. Luckily, now you can have that exact same experience at home!

Years ago while working on our home remodel, our contractor shared his families secret taco shop salsa recipe with me. It is so simple, yet tastes just like the restaurant-style salsa we all know and love. Slightly chunky, with a little smoky flavor from the roasted tomatoes, a hint of spice from the roasted peppers and a ton of flavor from all of the fresh ingredients!

You’ll never buy a jar of store-bought salsa again once you see just how easy it is to make your own homemade salsa in only 10 minutes! Whether you’re dipping your favorite nachos into it, topping your favorite tacos with it, or just snacking on it with chips while sipping on a margarita, I guarantee you’re going to love this easy blender salsa recipe!

It’s been our go-to salsa recipe for years now and in regular rotation almost every Taco Tuesday at our house!

ingredients for fresh tomato salsa

Ingredients

  • Roma tomatoes – for this recipe, you want firm red roma tomatoes. Make sure the tomatoes you’re using aren’t soft or mushy, as they won’t roast and blend properly.
  • Jalapenos – two peppers is perfect for a mild salsa. If you want to spice it up, add more jalapenos or throw 1-2 serrano peppers in with the jalapenos. If you find that a jalapeno is too spicy for you, you can use one green bell pepper instead, cut into 4 large strips. The great thing about homemade salsa is you can make it just how you like it!
  • White onion – you can also use a yellow or red onion, but white onion is what is traditionally used to make salsa.
  • Fresh cilantro – I recommend cutting off any large, thick stems, but blending in some of the thin, smaller stems, along with the leaves is totally fine.
  • Lime juice – fresh squeezed, always for this recipe! You’re using all fresh ingredients, so grab a lime and squeeze it in for the best flavor.
  • Salt – feel free to use any salt and salt the salsa to your taste. I found that 1 1/2 teaspoons is the perfect amount for my taste, but I understand that everyones sensitivity to salt is a little different.
collage of images showing how to make homemade salsa

Step by step instructions

  1. Preheat the oven broiler to high. Move one rack in your oven 4-6 inches below the heat source. (In my oven, that’s the second rack placement and it’s 5 inches below the broiler.) Place the whole tomatoes, peppers with the stems removed and two onion quarters on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  2. Place the tomatoes, peppers and onions in the oven under the broiler. Broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the tomatoes and peppers are black and bubbling on the outside. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip the tomatoes, peppers and onions. Place them back in the oven under the broiler for another 2-3 minutes, or until black and bubbling.
    • Pro tip! Always be sure to watch food under the broiler. Each oven is different and you don’t want the peppers and tomatoes in there too long or the tomatoes can explode and the peppers can get too burned.
  3. Transfer the tomatoes, peppers and onions from the baking sheet to a blender, or food processor. There’s no need to let the tomatoes, peppers and onions cool, you can transfer them directly into a blender when they come out of the oven. Add fresh cilantro, lime juice and salt to the blender.
  4. Pulse the blender or food processor 10-15 times until no large chunks exist. I don’t recommend actually turning the blender on low or the salsa might turn out too thin. You still want some small chunks in the salsa. The level of chunkiness you’re going for will depend on how many times you pulse the salsa in the blender.
    • Pro tip! Once the salsa looks like it’s at your desired consistency, remove the lid and dip a chip in there. Taste the salsa and decide if you like the consistency or if you want it a little less chunky. You can also decide if you’d like to add a little more salt at this time. I recommend adding only an extra 1/4 teaspoon at a time, as you don’t want it to end up too salty. In my house, 1 1/2 teaspoons is the perfect amount!

Feel free to eat the salsa immediately while it’s warm, let it cool to room temperature or place it in the refrigerator to chill the salsa before eating it.

One of the interesting things that I learned from our contractor is that most Mexican families eat their salsa warm or at room temperature right after it’s made. The reason restaurant salsa is always served cold is because they usually make it ahead of time and have to refrigerate it for food safety reasons.

I honestly love this salsa so much, that I pour it straight from the blender to a bowl and dig right in while it’s warm! Any leftovers should be covered and stored in the refrigerator.

chunky tomato salsa in white bowl

Frequently asked questions

  • How do you make it spicy? Every pepper is different, but even with two jalapenos, this salsa is on the mild side. If you’d like to spice it up, I recommend also roasting 1-3 serrano peppers (with the stems removed) along with the jalapenos and tomatoes. The more serrano peppers you add, the spicier it’s going to get! You could also add 1 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper with the salt before blending the salsa to spice it up.
  • How long will it last in the refrigerator? Fresh salsa, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, will stay good for up to 1 week.
  • Can you freeze homemade salsa? Yes, you can store the salsa in an airtight container, such as a mason jar, for up to 4 months in the freezer. Just make sure to leave 1 inch of space in the jar for the salsa to expand in the freezer.
  • Can I use this recipe to make a salsa verde? Yes, simply replace the roma tomatoes with tomatillos. Remove the papery husks from the tomatillos and rinse them well before placing them on the baking sheet with the onion and peppers.
  • Is it vegan? Yes, this salsa is naturally vegan and gluten free.
  • Can I make it without a blender or food processor? Sure thing. After the tomatoes, peppers and onions roast in the oven, you can transfer them to a large cutting board and chop them with a knife, then transfer them to a bowl. Finely chop the fresh cilantro and mix it in, along with the lime juice and salt.
  • Can I fire-roast the tomatoes and vegetables on the grill instead of under the broiler? Absolutely! If I have my grill fired up to make carne asada or grilled shrimp, I always toss some roma tomatoes, peppers and onions on the grill to make this salsa.
hand dipping tortilla chip into fresh tomato salsa

Ways to serve it

fresh tomato salsa in bowl with spoon

More salsa recipes

Try these other homemade salsa recipes at your next happy hour, party or Taco Tuesday!

fresh tomato salsa in bowl with spoon
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10 Minute Homemade Salsa

Create THE BEST restaurant-style homemade salsa in just 10 minutes! In this recipe, fresh tomatoes, peppers and onions are blackened in the oven, then blended with fresh cilantro, lime juice and salt to create an authentic Mexican salsa that's both incredibly flavorful and easy to make!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds roma tomatoes
  • 2 jalapenos, stems removed
  • ½ white onion, cut into quarters
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, packed (both leaves and stems are okay)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven broiler to high. Move one rack in your oven 4-6 inches below the heat source. 
  • Place the tomatoes, jalapenos and onion on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the skins of the tomatoes and peppers are black and bubbling.
  • Remove from the oven, flip the tomatoes, jalapenos and onion and cook under the broiler for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the skins of the tomatoes and peppers are black and bubbling.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately place the whole tomatoes, jalapenos and onion in a blender or food processor with the cilantro, lime juice and salt.
  • Pulse the blender or food processor 10-15 times. I don’t recommend actually turning the blender on low or the salsa might turn out too thin. The level of chunkiness you’re going for will depend on how many times you pulse the salsa in the blender.
  • Eat the salsa immediately warm, or place in the refrigerator to chill for 30-60 minutes.

Notes

  • The nutritional information provided is for 1 cup of salsa. This recipe makes approximately 3 cups of salsa.
  • If you want to make the salsa spicy, I recommend also roasting 1-3 serrano peppers (with the stems removed) along with the jalapenos and tomatoes. The more serrano peppers you add, the spicier it’s going to get! You can also add 1 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper with the salt before blending the salsa to spice it up.
  • To make the recipe without a blender or food processor, after the tomatoes, peppers and onions roast in the oven, transfer them to a large cutting board and chop them with a knife, then transfer them to a bowl. Finely chop the fresh cilantro and mix it in, along with the lime juice and salt.
  • This recipe is naturally vegan and gluten free.
  • The salsa can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • The salsa can also be stored in the freezer in an airtight container, such as a mason jar, for up to 4 months. Just make sure to leave 1 inch of space in the jar for the salsa to expand in the freezer.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 54kcal (3%)Carbohydrates 12g (4%)Protein 2g (4%)Fat 1g (2%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Polyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 1gSodium 1177mg (49%)Potassium 613mg (18%)Fiber 3g (12%)Sugar 7g (8%)Vitamin A 2175mg (44%)Vitamin C 47mg (57%)Calcium 32mg (3%)Iron 1mg (6%)
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